‘It freshens up the old stuff’: Ian Gillan says Now What?! has given Deep Purple new life

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When Deep Purple released Now What?! earlier this year, it represented more for frontman Ian Gillan than the group’s first new music in eight years. It was a shot in the arm for the franchise.

“I think you need an injection every now and then of new material,” Gillan says in this video, “not only for the sake of bringing new songs for the audience, but also it freshens up the old stuff as well.”

The new studio effort is Deep Purple’s 19th, in a discography that stretches back to 1968’s Shades of Deep Purple. Over that amazing 45-year period, drummer Ian Paice is the longest-tenured member — having joined in ’68. Bassist Roger Glover and Gillan followed in 1969, giving them a unique perspective on the way things have changed.

“It was the underground music back then,” Glover says. “But in the last 20, 30, 40 years, it’s become the establishment music. You can’t switch the television on and watch a commercial without hearing pounding guitars and bass and drums. It’s kind of taken over the world — and it will never die because of that.”

Deep Purple is rounded out by guitarist Steve Morse and keyboardist Don Airey, who joined in 1994 and 2002 respectively. The group is currently on tour behind Now What?! in Europe.

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